Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

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Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

The largest freshwater marine protected area in the world is being set up off the northern shores of Lake Superior, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Thursday.

The national marine conservation area will encompass more than 10,000 sq. km (3,900 sq. miles) of Lake Superior, the biggest of the Great Lakes, including lake bed, islands and north shorelands.

The area -- about the size of Lebanon -- stretches to the east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and down to the Canada-U.S. border, north of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The area seeks to balance environmental protection with preserving the livelihood of local residents who work in marine industries such as commercial and sport fishing and shipping.

Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area

Prime Minister Steven Harper announces National Marine Conservation AreaPrime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the creation of Canada’s newest National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA). More than 10,000 square kilometres of Lake Superior, including the lakebed, islands and north shorelands within the NMCA boundaries, will become the largest freshwater marine protected area in the world.

Federal Environment Minister and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable John Baird, and the Member of Parliament from Lake Superior-North Shore, Joe Comuzzi, stand with Prime Minister Steven Harper during announcement in Nipigon, Ontario

October 25, 2006  Harper said, “Our government is taking action to preserve and protect Canada’s environment, including Lake Superior’s north shore, for future generations of Canadians to enjoy,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The creation of this area will benefit the local economy too, by boosting tourism and creating jobs.”

National marine conservation areas are part of Parks Canada’s growing number of national heritage sites. They balance environmental protection with responsible economic activity by protecting key elements of the ecosystem while preserving the livelihoods of local residents who work in marine industries such as commercial fishing, sport fishing and shipping.

The proposed boundaries of the Lake Superior NMCA extend from Thunder Cape at the tip of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park in the west, to Bottle Point just east of Terrace Bay, and south to the Canada-U.S. boundary.

The announcement marked the culmination of a decade of planning and negotiations involving the federal, Ontario and local governments as well as First Nations in the region. Among the groups and individuals who supported the project were His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh; and from former Prime Minister John Turner, both acting for the World Wildlife Fund, as well as former Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar, who is one of Ontario’s Champions of the Great Lakes Heritage Coasts.

"Establishing a national marine conservation area in Lake Superior will build on the extensive work Ontario has already done to protect the cultural, recreational, and natural values of the lake’s islands and shoreline," said Premier Dalton McGuinty. "Future generations will benefit from what we have accomplished today through this constructive collaboration among three levels of government, First Nations, stakeholders and community members.”

Prime Minister Harper also acknowledged the contributions of Federal Environment Minister and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable John Baird, and the Member of Parliament from Lake Superior-North Shore, Joe Comuzzi, to the Lake Superior NMCA project. “Without their efforts, today’s announcement would not have become a reality,” the Prime Minister said.

 

Special from Lake Superior News Bureau
 
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